The girl, the lady, the woman, the crone:
feminine performance decides her role.
She will play sweetly, will not live alone.
Will she love mutely? Crush in whispers? Sewn
love letters held within wooden hoops stole
the girl, the lady, the woman. The crone
finds her place at the spinning wheel, the groan
of her wooden frame weaving, heart turned coal.
She will play sweetly, will not live (alone)
defined by her marriage but by her own
will; not by his child, but barren control.
The girl, the lady, the woman (the crone)
wields thread and needles, hope secure as bone.
Stitching by moonlight to midnight bell toll,
she will play. Sweetly, will knot. Live alone,
tying frayed ends and wearing her work home.
Proud blood of pricked fingers. Spinster is whole.
The girl, the lady, the woman, the crone;
she will play sweetly, will not live alone.